The formation of a shared service partnership which has the potential to save Harlow and Uttlesford Council taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year has moved a step closer. Both Harlow and Uttlesford District Councils are recommending that in principle a joint partnership for the administration of Council Tax, Business Rates and Benefits is entered into.
The feasibility study identifies the potential for the councils to save around £635,000 a year (Harlow £390,000, Uttlesford £245,000). These are indicative costs with further work being necessary to confirm the achievability of such savings and the cost of implementation.
Proservartner Point of View: There are two distinct strategies that UK Councils are taking in dealing with the comprehensive spending review.
- Make plans in advance of the review, to illustrate that the Council is proactive and considering cost reduction prior to the pressures that will be exerted: Here Uttlesford and Harlow are taking the initiative in planning shared services across the District Councils, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Councils looking to save £2.4 million a year through shared services, Herefordshire Council have already announced £2.7 million savings from sharing services within the Borough, and Cornwall and Edinburgh Councils announcing significant saving targets!
- Wait until after the review to understand the weight of expectations, and the scale of the cost reductions required: A number of Councils are taking the “wait and see” approach to understand the sheer scale of the savings required prior to committing to cost reduction programs